The computer system that you have been using in labs should look something like this picture, except for speakers which you can ask lab techs to

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2 The computer system that you have been using in labs should look something like this picture, except for speakers which you can ask lab techs to attach. Now let's look at its parts:

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5 The floppy drive is always called "Drive A:". A floppy disk can hold 1.5 megabytes of data. That's about 1,500,000 characters or letters (or about 300,000 words). That's more than enough space for the text of a large book. Pictures, however, take up a great deal of room. You could only fit a small number of good-quality pictures (or graphics) on a floppy disk.

6 Today, most programs are so big that they would need 10 or 20 or more floppy disks to hold each program. That's why most programs today come on CD-ROM.

7 These disks hold about 650 megabytes of data (over 400 floppies)! Even so, a few programs, especially games, use more than one CD- ROM disk. The CD-ROM drive is usually labeled as drive D: or drive E:. Inside the computer's system box there are many other pieces:

8 Hard Drive (Cover partially removed)

9 This drive uses disks that are made of aluminum or glass (and therefore 'hard'). Each disk can store much more information than either a floppy or CD-ROM. Sometimes, there may be several disks in a hard drive. However, the disks in a normal hard drive can not be removed or replaced. Today, hard drives are measured in gigabytes. That's one thousand million bytes. 1 gigabyte is about 11/3 CD-ROM disks. The largest hard drive (right now) is about 12 gigabytes in size.

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11 Everything inside the computer is connected to a circuit board called the 'motherboard'. The motherboard has sockets for the computer's brain, called a CPU; the computer's memory (RAM, ROM and CMOS); and for add-on cards to control the video (picture), audio (sound), printer and anything else that might be connected to the computer. You may also find a modem inside on an add-on card.

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13 CPU: This stands for 'Central Processing Unit' and is the 'brain' of the computer. Most CPU's today are made by Intel and bear such names as 'Pentium', 'Pentium Pro' and 'Pentium II'. Older Intel CPU's include the and families. Other manufacturers also make CPU's: Motorola for the Macintosh, AMD and Cirrus for PC's and others.

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15 RAM: This stands for 'Random Access Memory'. Everything you do with the computer is stored in RAM until you save your work to a disk. If the computer should lose power, everything in RAM is wiped out. You would have to start all over again (unless you saved it)! Today computers have 16 megabytes of RAM or more. (Some older computers may have less.) ROM: This stands for 'Read Only Memory'. This memory holds all the basic instructions the computer needs to do very simple stuff, such as making the letter 'A' appear on the monitor when you press the 'A' key. This memory can not be changed, so losing power does not affect it.

16 A chip like the one to the right can be made for many purposes such as for RAM, ROM or CMOS chips.

17 CMOS: Don't ask me what CMOS stands for! It stores information about your computer system as well as the current date and time. Like RAM, this memory needs electricity to keep working, but it only needs a very small amount. A small battery (like a watch battery) will keep it running for three or four years. If the CMOS battery dies, your computer (especially your hard drive) may not start up correctly. You will have to have the battery replaced, and, you will probably have to have the information about your computer system reentered at start up.

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19 The Video card controls what you see on the monitor. It determines how many dots across the screen and down the screen the computer can look after. The more dots, the more information or the more detail you can see. The video card also controls how many colours you can see. Most computers today can show anywhere from 256 colours to many millions of colors. Did you know there were more than a million colors?

20 The sound card controls the sound. Most computers come with pretty cheap speakers, and the sound card can probably produce much better sound than the speakers can. With good speakers, today's sound cards can make your computer sound as good as a stereo!

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22 A modem allows your computer to connect to another computer using the normal telephone line. (Usually, you can't use the telephone when the computer is using the line, or the other way around.) Today, modems can send data at up to 56 thousand bits per second. That's more than 5,000 bytes (or letters) per second. That's pretty fast until you remember that even a small graphic can easily be many thousand bytes in size. Most people connect to the Internet from their computer at home through the modem.

23 Much of the time you will be using the keyboard to work with your computer. In the next lesson, we'll take a closer look at the keyboard.

24 Shelly & Cashman (2004) pp For the theory test focus on the following definitions Motherboard Chip Integrated circuit Transistor Microprocessor

25 System Unit

26 The system unit is a case that contains the electronic components of the computer. It is the place data goes for processing. System unit are available in various shapes and sizes. Its case is some times called the chassis. It is made of metal or plastic that protects that internal electronic components from damage.

27 In the desktop computer system Most storage devices are apart of the system, but there are other devices that for example, keyboards, mouse, monitor, scanner that occupies space outside of the system unit. In notebook systems the keyboard and mouse are a part of the system unit.

28 Power Supply CPU Fan Heat Sink Video Card Modem Sound Card Ribbon cable Mother board CD-ROM drive Hard drive Power cords Floppy drive Zip drive Extra case fan

29 The processor is also called the Central Processing Unit. It interprets and carries out the basic instructions that operate a computer. The power of the processor significantly impacts the overall computing power and manages most of its computer s operation (p.183).

30 Central Processing Unit Arithmetic logic Unit These two components work together to perform processing operations.

31 Directs and coordinates most of the operations in the computer. Its role is similar to that of a traffic cop.: in that it interprets each instruction issued by a program and initiates the appropriate action to carryout the instruction.

32 Performs arithmetic, comparison, and logical operations. These include basic calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Comparison operations such as comparing one data item with another to determine if it is equal to, greater than or less than. Logical operations such as AND, OR, and NOT.

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